Festival of Books, Dec. 20-28th

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights
I’ve always been fascinated by the menorah.  According to Jewish tradition, the yearly lighting of candles commemorates the miracle when a single night’s portion of ritual oil kept the Temple lit for eight full nights.  (The ninth, central candle is used to light the others.)  I love the idea of lighting the candles not just to provide household light — personal appreciation — but to share the miracle with the whole world.

Of course, there have been times and places in Jewish history when lighting the menorah could be dangerous, even deadly. Even the dreidel, that seemingly innocuous spinning top, comes from a time when studying the Torah (the Hebrew Bible) had to be hidden. When the Greeks outlawed such study, young men gathered secretly to learn the tenets of their faith. If observed by Greek soldiers, the scholars would take out their dreidels — spinning tops — and play with them. The soldiers would assume the men were gambling and move along.

Festival of Books
For the next eight nights, I’ve joined with several other indie authors to bring you a selection of great indie offerings.  I’m also offering a $50 gift certificate to your choice of retailer — Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  All you have to do is comment on my blog during the next eight days.  Tell me what holiday lights — the menorah, the Christmas tree, or something else — means to you personally.  Each comment will give you an entry into the drawing, which will take place on 12/29.  The winner will be chosen by random.org.

You can also check out several great indie authors:

Jonathan Gould
Danielle Blanchard
Justin Dennis
Lisa Grace
Craig Hansen
Larry Kahn
Emily Ward

Last but not least, fill out the form to be eligible for the Grand Prize Drawing!

15 thoughts on “Festival of Books, Dec. 20-28th

  1. I have lit a candle by my bedside every Christmas Eve since I was very little, long before I knew why we light things on fire at this time of year. Not quite sure why I started this. I remember thinking over the year, if I had been naughty or nice, and watching the candle flame as I fell asleep. Now, of course, the candle flame means a great deal more to me. I am grateful to do my tiny part to keep the Wheel of the Year turning!

  2. After the kids have gone to bed, I usually curl up in the living room and take comfort from the Christmas tree, all aglow. It brings me peace, and I let my mind wander and contemplate the year that has passed, and wonder how the new year will be. This is a really nice question to think about, and the Festival of Books is a lovely hop. Thank you for your time and for participating. Happy Holidays, Soniamamaelk1113 at gmail dot com

  3. Holiday lights are sometimes tricky at our house – we celebrate Chanukah and it is hard to explain to the kids why they don't get Christmas lights. But I love getting beautiful candles for the menorah!

  4. Thank you so much for your generous participating in this holiday fun. There is something peaceful about holiday lights, whether it be sitting in a living room in the dark with the only lights being the tree of the candles in the window. When I was growing up we always had a menorah candle holder and even though we were a Christian household, it was known that it represented God's grace and provision. I hope you have the happiest of holidays. dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  5. I think Christmas lights make things much more bright and fun. When we do our decorating my daughter comes over and we do it together, with a bottle of wine, and we have a blast. One year my daughter was putting the topper on the tree and the cord for the light was getting in the way so she plugged it into her pony tail. Of course there were 'comments' made because she is blonde. OMG we laughed so hard we almost peed our pants. lolMerry Christmas everyone!!icequeen at vianet dot ca 🙂

  6. I used to love Christmas lights. I liked piling into the car and getting a hot chocolate and just driving around trying to find more and more lights. My grandparents loved doing it and we would go out every year. This year I find them intrusive, cutting into the peace and dark that I've been wanting lately.

  7. In Germany we light one light on every Advent Sunday(starts four weeks before Christmas)and I love this, because we always decorate our Christmas tree after the fourth Avent-light has burned down. Light add for me to the whole anticipation of Christmas atmospher.Merry Hollidays everyone!

  8. I love lighting the lights on the Christmas tree because a tree with lights makes the room appear more fevstive and it makes me feel more like a Holiday and something special!Happy Holidays!AnzuAnzumerlin(at)mail(dot)ru

  9. Yesterday I saw something that lit up my life, does that count?I went to the local convenience store to get a cup of decaf cause once you're old they take away your caffeine, your salt, your fatty foods, everything that preserves you. That's really why we die.But anyway…at the store all the employees had stockings hung up with their names on them; Amber, Josh, Tameka, Sarek.Sarek?I smiled and then asked the kid behind the counter if they really had Spock's dad working there?He looked a little dazed and then told me it was HIS stocking and he loved Star Trek. We stood and talked for several minutes…Trek Fan talk. The line got longer and longer and finally I said live long and prosper and left.What a great Christmas gift for an old Trekkie like me to get while out buying her decaf. The light of Gene Roddenberry's vision still shines out there in young people who aren't actually related to me. It made me glow, I tell you, glow.Mary Ellen Wofford

  10. Hi,Christmas light just make me happy, because if you go somewhere and all homes are nicely decorated with light, it makes me feel better even after a crapy day. So lights symbolise hope for me that something better will come.Happy Holidays!JibrielJibriel.O(at)web(dot)de

  11. Hi,Christmas tree with lights says to me you finished decorating and now you may enjoy your work and celebrate Christmas!We always decorate at the 24th of December and lighting the Christmas tree is the last step. :)Happy Holidays and Take Care!Ellieelaynelost(at)yahoo(dot)de

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